Vehicle production in China continued to rebound in the first 20 days of March from a year earlier when the coronavirus outbreak curtailed industrial activity across the country, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
Total vehicle output of all foreign automakers producing in China and 11 major domestic manufacturers, which account for nearly all production, jumped 120 percent year over year to approach 1.27 million in the first several weeks of the month.
Production of light vehicles -- sedans, crossovers, SUVs, MPVs and minibuses -- soared 130 percent to top 1.01 million. Output of commercial vehicles such as buses and trucks doubled to exceed 254,000, according to the trade group.
Among the 11 Chinese automakers, eight are state-owned – SAIC Motor Corp., Dongfeng Motor Group, China FAW Group, Changan Automobile Co., GAC Motor Co., Brilliance China Automotive, Jianghuai Automobile Co. and Chery Automobile Co. Three are private automakers: Geely Automobile Holdings, Great Wall Motor Co. and BYD Co.
The increase in output came even as global automakers face disruptions from a widening shortage of microchips. VW Group, China’s biggest foreign automaker, and Volvo say Chinese output has been affected by the tight supply of chips.
In the first two months, industrywide vehicle output surged 89 percent to nearly 3.89 million. During the period, light-vehicle production rallied 87 percent to 3.07 million while commercial vehicle output jumped 96 percent to around 818,000, according to data CAAM released earlier this month.
In 2020, vehicle production in China didn’t start to recover until April after the viral outbreak, which ravaged the country from late January to mid-March, was brought under control.